Yogurt rice, a South Indian dish, is commonly served as a side dish in Indian restaurants. The yogurt gives the rice a creamy texture that other dishes get from cream or cheese.
The rice is very light-tasting with a tang and slight crunch from mustard seeds and dal. Leave the seeds in the serrano chile for extra bite. Stirring the chile and ginger into the hot rice cooks them slightly.
The finished dish will be very moist, almost pudding-like, and is excellent served with meats, chicken or vegetarian dishes. I like it so much that I think it makes a good main course for a light lunch or early dinner.
Active Work Time: 15 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 40 minutes * Low Fat * Vegetarian
1 cup long-grain rice
2 cups water
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
2 teaspoons mung dal
Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon oil
1 serrano chile, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger root
1/4 cucumber, peeled, seeded and minced
2 cups plain nonfat yogurt
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup minced cilantro
* Bring water to boil in saucepan and add rice. Return to boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender and water is absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes.
* While rice is cooking, toast mustard seeds and dal in skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and oil until mustard seeds begin to pop, 2 to 3 minutes.
* Fluff rice with fork and stir in mustard seeds, dal, chile, ginger and cucumber.
* Combine yogurt, milk and salt. Lightly stir into rice with fork. Sprinkle with cilantro.
4 (1-cup) servings. Each serving: 255 calories; 692 mg sodium; 3 mg cholesterol; 1 gram fat; 49 grams carbohydrates; 12 grams protein; 0.60 gram fiber.
* Napkin in photo above and plate in Second Helpings photo from Sur La Table, Pasadena.